"If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Isaiah 58:13-14

From the time I was a child till this day, I have never considered Sunday just another day. Sunday was honored in southwestern Virginia growing up. Most businesses were closed and people attended church on Sunday. There were Sundays our father had to work, but our mother took us to church.

As I got older I observed Sunday less and less as a holy day, and so did the rest of America. It was subtle at first, not honoring God any longer, and before long it evolved more into a day of sports for our children, and golf for many of our fathers. It was no longer a family day of rest for the entire family, and honoring God. It became a day of seeking our own pleasure, which meant everyone going in different directions. We no longer were having Sunday dinners with the family. Ball games took precedence over rest, and family time honoring God in our homes with Bible reading and instructions about life.

We truly have become lovers of pleasures, rather than lovers of God. As we face reality in our families and society we are reaping the consequences of the choices we have made. No wonder loneliness is one of the greatest issues we are facing in all ages of life today.

A personal relationship with the One who created us is essential for us to develop into whole individuals as we strive to become like God rather than man in his sinful, selfish nature. We must live for something greater than ourselves to be fulfilled, happy, healthy individuals, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

In Exodus 20:8-11 we are commanded:
"Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy."

God’s commandments are made out of love for His children. He knows what is best for His creation. If we understand how much He loves us His commandments are not a heavy yoke of do’s and don’ts, but an opportunity to receive the promise that comes with obedience. Religious people such as the Pharisees and Sadducees always concentrated on the wrong thing– self righteousness.

God is love. His motives are love. His children obey Him out of love and trust. That is what makes true disciples of Christ very different from people controlled by religious spirits based on performance, rather than those who are led by the Holy Spirit. We are no longer under the laws of Moses, but under the law of the Holy Spirit which indwells the true followers of Christ. The difference is agape love that we aren’t capable of having apart from loving God with all our heart and allowing Him to be our first love. It causes us to act out of love rather than rules and regulations apart from love. Jesus said the true sons of God are led by the Holy Spirit which is love.

Let’s look at some examples. In Matthew 12 we will find controversies over the Sabbath which differentiates between religion and following Christ. You need to read this chapter. In 12:1-8 we read how Jesus allowed his hungry disciples while walking through grainfields to pick heads of grain and eat. Immediately when the Pharisees observed this, they reminded him it was unlawful for them to do so. Jesus responds and closes with this verse:

"But if you had known what this means, "
I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

In the following verses He heals a withered hand on the Sabbath in the synagogue. Before this took place the religious crowd in the synagogue asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath, hoping to accuse Him. See their motive? It certainly wasn’t compassion, but a desire to condemn. Here is Jesus’ response in verses 11-12:

"What man is there among you who has a sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then, is a man than a sheep? So then it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

If we look back in Matthew Chapter 5 we find Jesus preaching the beatitudes and teaching the crowds. Listen to what He declares to us in 17-20:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

I hope this inspires you to look up these scriptures and discuss them as families. Read the entire chapters. It is so important to get God’s Word into context for the whole truth. Satan teaches scripture based on half truths. I pray we will begin to take back the Sabbath day and find the rest God intended for us and our families to have. But more importantly do not make it just a day of rest, but consecrate it a holy day in our homes devoting our love and attention to the God who gave us such a beautiful law to obey out of love for us. May we obey it out of love for Him. It is a step in the right direction of gaining the mind of Christ. May we all be transformed by the renewing of our minds, designating one day of the week to stop all the clamor of life, and to rest in His Presence. Declaring it is a great way to start our week is an understatement!!

I would like to close with these powerful verses in Romans 8: 12-17, and please study the entire chapter as we give this day to Him:

"So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh– for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit, you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."

Brothers and sisters, that is good news!
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness



Photos taken at Tory’s Den Cave after a run at Hanging Rock State Park. The den and falls are located within the park and well worth seeing.